FIFA Soccer 12 Hands-On Preview

The release of Electronic Arts' first Soccer title on the Nintendo 3DS is just around the corner, and we spent some time with it.

Usually, EA Sports is known for being the first to release its sports on a new console and for setting the pace for its competitors. But in regard to its famed FIFA series, it is playing catch-up on the Nintendo 3DS. With the bar already set by another popular soccer franchise earlier this year, EA Canada is hoping that the extra time will allow for a more refined experience. We had a chance to play around with the 3DS version of FIFA 12 before it launches at the end of September, and fans of sports games on portable consoles, specifically those who enjoy soccer, will be interested in seeing how this turns out.

Battle for possession

Aesthetically, the 3DS version feels and looks eerily similar to last year's Wii version. Not only is the game developed by a lot of the same people involved with that version, but most of the modes included here were also implemented there. There are two key modes: Career mode acts as your Manager mode and lets you deal with all the aspects of your favorite club as you hope to lead it to league title glory. The other main mode is Be a Pro. Like in last year's FIFA 11 on the Wii, it has you begin your career as a low-level street soccer player and make your way through the years and hopefully one day play for the club of your dreams.

Modes aside, the real focus for FIFA 12 on the 3Ds is how it implements the power of the console. Graphically, the build we played ran quite well and looked on par with what is offered on the 3DS. The default behind-the-player control does a good job of showing off the 3D capabilities of the system. Those who aren't fans of that view perspective can switch to one of the more standard television angles available.

The use of the touch pad is limited outside of two pretty important aspects: shooting and dead-ball situations. In normal situations, the bottom screen is where the radar is located, but when you're put into a goal-scoring opportunity, the bottom screen reveals the net, and you can pinpoint where you would like the shot to go. The player's skill and the amount of time you hold down before shooting will determine how good the shot is. A nice touch is that on the screen, it features a green dot that shows where your initial shot was intending to go, and a blue dot will reveal where it actually went.

This shooting mechanic is a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it quickly feels like the better way of doing it instead of simply hitting the shoot button. The only downside is that if you're not intending to shoot and would rather cross the ball or perform any other action around the goal area, if you rely on the radar to see where your teammates are, then you will have to guess where they are.

As for the dead-ball situations, you can use the bottom screen to help curve shots. By swiping on the bottom screen in a number of motions, you can attack the goal in a number of different ways. Unsurprisingly, this method is extremely easy to grasp, and with the right player in control of the ball, scoring a goal should not be a problem.

The popular Street Soccer mode returns

Again, FIFA 12 on the 3DS launches at the end of September, and so far it is shaping up to be quite the treat for fans of the sport who love to take the action wherever they go. Be sure to come back in a few weeks to read our final thoughts of EA Sports' first soccer game on Nintendo's 3D portable console.

Written By

Former GameSpot Associate Editor, current Content Manager for EA SPORTS.

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Discussion

21 comments
ggregd
ggregd

@bonefists "Of the world's six major football codes -- (Association Football), rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, American (gridiron) football, and Gaelic football -- (Association Football) is the only one that prohibits use of the hands." http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_American_football_called_'football'

bonefists
bonefists

i wonder why the americans call that sport football when 90% of the time the ball is in their hands.I just don't get it,they should call it handball or maybe soccer,i dunno,they should stop calling that game football.

giedrius1001
giedrius1001

Americans, they never cant accept, what real FOOTBALL is European FOOTBALL, and their American "football" should be called HANDBALL, because most of the time ball is held with hands!!! I should suit America to court for plagiarism! :)

gary3dsfan
gary3dsfan

@Buft Touch screen shooting is a nice feature. Although B to pass and A to shoot.

Magic_Panda92
Magic_Panda92

@finalcross oh thank god for that, this is a must buy then!

Tedd_216
Tedd_216

I'm torn should I get the 3ds version or the ps3 version, I mean the 3ds is different, but from past experience the ps3 version's of fifa are always great.

Lord_Midas
Lord_Midas

From Wikipedia: The International Federation of Association Football (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), commonly known by the acronym FIFA Football. Football. FOOTBALL. Enough with the Soccer naming already. It's very tiresome. Plus, it's called FIFA 12. It's like Gamespot put the Soccer bit in there on purpose.

ducati101
ducati101

@warriorsq My original comment was in jest mate. Btw, who did you play American football for in the UK? I use to play for London Ravens, Outside Linebacker. Although I prefer Rugby and real football :P

warriorsq
warriorsq

@ducati101 I'm not questioning his passion but in his own words "Rugby is a contact sport and American football is a collision sport" Ive played both games here in the UK and they are both hard in their own ways

ducati101
ducati101

@warriorsq Martin Johnson captain of the world cup winning England team, played American Football as a hobby but we all know where his passion is. :)

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

good soccer game. now give us some contra and castlevania on 3ds!

warriorsq
warriorsq

@ducati101 seeing as Martin Johnson has played American Football in the UK and loves the sport does that mean he is not a man then?

ducati101
ducati101

Real men play Rugby, not American Football ;)

vajjala1986
vajjala1986

These Americans never learn...its football.. not soccer. hitting ball with foot. Just because, you created a game with a ball and use hands and muscles does not make it "football"....

teknicz
teknicz

Shouldn't the graphics be above the Wii's? I figured smaller screen ratio would allow it to be even sharper looking.

dreamgod247
dreamgod247

Will FIFA 12 3DS have online mode, the 3DS is cable of online multiplayer. If does then I might get the 3DS instead of the console version.

ValHazzard
ValHazzard

@campbell153 I never understood why americans call football soccer ... it's that simple...the game is played by kicking the ball...with their feet...the players never touch the ball with their hands, and if they do, they get penalized...hence the name FOOTball. American "football" is a very poofed out version of rugby with helmets and shoulder pads, where they rarely ever use their feet to touch that ball...

campbell153
campbell153

Its not "soccer" its FOOTBALL!!! you kick a ball with your FOOT!.. hence the name FOOTBALL!!!!!

finalcross
finalcross

@buft and @Magic_Panda92 - Yes, shooting with the touch pad is completely optional.

buft
buft

not sure what to think about touch screen shooting, sounds like a real pain, i would rather press the b button